Monday, June 30, 2014

Linda Allard's Gardens

A couple weekends ago was our annual "Idylls" get together. Our group decided to do some touring in New England this year. Kathy from "Garden Book" Sue from 'Idyll Haven' (wonder where she got that name?) also participated in our annual fun and frolics.This was our eleventh get together.

Sue did a great job of documenting some of our history in her "Idyll Haven" post from 2012 Another Idyllunion For the History Books 

Anyway we are a merry band of gardeners with a long history of friendship and sharing.  The combined knowledge of the gardeners in this group has turned me into a more educated gardener and raised my goals and expectations. Not to mention the unofficial, friendly, yearly competition as to who has the most container gardens spurred me into expanding my containers from a measly fifty or so the the 350 plus I have right now...  (yes indeed, I'm a bit crazy)

Anyway, this year we toured in CT and NH.  Kathy recently posted about the Michael Trapp Garden, a marvelous combination of beautifully constructed hardscape and classical elements so not to go over ground that has already been covered beautifully I thought I'd start with Highmeadows.

Linda Allard's Highmeadows gardens are sumptuous and extensive with lovely vistas of the Litchfield CT hills.  Surrounded by rose covered rock walls the garden includes a lush pottager, formal gardens with classical statuary, wisteria bower (would have loved to see that in bloom) and many delights.  The paths lead to an expanse of lawn with a large shaded patio overlooking the hills. The pool and pool house also boast a magnificent view.  A very beautiful outdoor garden space melded into the stunning landscape.

Would love to see this Wisteria in bloom. Gorgeous setting

Absolutely loved the peony supports

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Problem with Collections ---

is that they grow, and grow and grow... Well at least in my case. I began collecting succulents a few years ago when I got the bug to make some cement troughs.  It was so much fun I made several, then a few more.  Then, of course, a gardener needs to fill them up. Which I did, then as soon as they were all full I found a few more cool succulents I couldn't live without. And so it goes.  The real problem arises because I now have more succulents than I have winter space to house them.  I won't be able to have any greenhouse space this winter as the cost of heating oil is through the roof so I have to decide what plants in my collection have to go...  but for the rest of the summer I'll enjoy them and put off making those decisions until September.

I didn't know these ruffled echeverias got so huge. Love this plant!

I've had the jade plant for thirty years now so that one will be staying

Absolutely love this Rhipsalis

Yes, I know there are a few begonias in this vignette but they really do well there so that's where they live for the summer.

My friend Monique bought this delightful terracotta cat for me a few years back and I just love him

My personal favorite. I redid this arrangement over the winter and am very happy with it this summer

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Most Beautiful Vine

Some plants come and go and some a gardener can grow a bit bored with over time. Some plants are reliable friends. Some plants seemed great at first but become unruly guests in the borders, but, every once in a while you plant something that will be a shining star in the garden for years. The reigning 'Queen of the Garden' here is my Hydrangea petiolaris. 

I planted this at the base of one of my oak trees in 1995 when we finally completed the third terrace on the small hill in the back garden.  It took it's own sweet time getting any sort of size to it and didn't bloom for several years, but, once it took off it climbed, and climbed and climbed. (It seems to still gain another three feet or so a year.) I estimate it's now about forty feet up the tree and every year it blooms better than the last even though the grey squirrels eat some of the buds off over the winter.  In the fall it puts on a glorious coat of brilliant, golden yellow before shedding its leaves and exposing it's gnarled and interesting structure. 

The 'Queen' currently is in full bloom and makes a statement no other plants in the garden do.